Lady of Time

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The Lady of Time’s Space by Catherine Grant

This poem was written about a very grand old house I visited regularly in Killarney, in the South West of the island of Ireland where I lived. The house is so full of character and contains many books and paintings alongside the other items from the preceding centuries in its history which probably accounts for its slightly musty atmosphere. I used to walk through the building and even had the opportunity to see first hand some of the rare books stored in the vaults but one of my favourite items in the house was the portrait which hangs in the main hall.

It is a painting of the lady of the house who was herself a Scottish artist and lived and died in the 19th century. Today the building is open to tourists and is visited by people from across the world. Across the lake from the house is a small island, at one time home to monastery where the famous annals of Inisfallen were written. That’s beside the point. It is needless to say one of the most beautiful and peaceful places imaginable.

It happened one night when I cycled the route through the parkland in order to take some film of the full moon on the lake and mountains. I stood on the grass next to the house and set up the tripod and camera etc when suddenly I could have sworn that I saw a light coming from one of the windows. As my eyes followed the glow, it moved across the room and into the adjoining one.

I quickly attached the flash to the camera but by the time I focussed on the light, it was gone. I couldn’t explain what it was, I don’t think it was a trick of the light and there was no one in the building but it made me want to find out more about the lady artist and the house.

This poem is a result of what I’d like to think it could have been that I saw… or maybe it was just a trick of the light; it could even have been the passing of cloud over the full moon. I suppose I’ll never know for sure.

–Catherine Grant

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